WPP’s Grey steps up continental Europe drive with Belgium’s Famous

WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell is proving as good as his (many) post-Brexit words; ramping up the communications giant’s continental European operations.

Last week research arm Kantar bought the Conexance data marketing business in France, Now WPP’s Grey has taken a majority stake in Belgian agency Famous which will be renamed FamousGrey.

Famous works in three languages: French, Flemish and English. Its main services include creative and design, strategy and innovation, digital strategy and production, data and performance marketing and PR. Famous revenues for the year ended 31 December 2015 were approximately €8.1 million with gross assets of €7.5 million as at the same date. WPP companies in Belgium generate revenues of over $100m and employ around 600 people. In Benelux as a whole WPP companies generate revenues of about $400m.

One of the attractions of Benelux is its proximity to the French market. France might be grappling with its own economic problems but it remains the biggest continental European market after Germany although WPP and its non-European rivals Omnicom, Interpublic and Dentsu have struggled to break the hold of French-owned groups Publicis and Havas (which owns France’s biggest creative agency BETC). Some clients at least will be interested in a France/Benelux offer.

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